Man pleads not guilty to intoxication manslaughter


A 20-year-old DeKalb, Texas, man accused of causing the death of one passenger and injuring three others when he crashed into a tree on a Bowie County highway in January 2016 pleaded not guilty to four felonies Friday.

Isidro Mariano appeared with Texarkana attorney Bart Craytor for arraignment Friday morning at a hearing before 5th District Judge Bill Miller at the Bi-State Justice Center in Texarkana. Mariano entered pleas of not guilty to three counts of intoxication assault and one count of intoxication manslaughter.

Mariano is accused of smashing a Honda Accord into a tree Jan. 10, 2016, at approximately 4:20 a.m. after failing to stop at the intersection of County Road 4255 and U.S. Highway 259, according to a probable cause affidavit. No other cars were involved in the accident.

Passenger Candace Vernon, 18, died at the scene. Three others were injured and taken to area hospitals for treatment. One of the passengers told a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper that Mariano was intoxicated. Results of testing on Mariano’s blood collected after the crash allegedly showed a .086 level of alcohol and the presence of Midazolam, a benzodiazepene in the same class of drugs as Valium and Xanax.

Troopers allegedly observed an open container of alcohol in the front center console and detected the odor of alcohol coming from the car.

Mariano is currently free on a total bond of $50,000. Miller scheduled the case for trial June 26 and for a pretrial hearing in February.

If convicted of intoxication assault, Mariano faces two to 10 years on each of the three counts. If found guilty of intoxication manslaughter, Mariano faces two to 20 years.

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